Xavi: “I'm sure Del Bosque and Casillas will patch things up”
The former Barça and Spain star said he was “quite surprised” by what happened between Iker Casillas and Vicente Del Bosque.
Xavi Hernández has also been taken aback by the bust-up between Vicente del Bosque and Iker Casillas following declarations by the national team coach on Madrid-based radio yesterday. The former Barça and Spain star reacted today, saying that he is “a bit surprised by what's happened but I'm not on the inside so I don't really know what actually went on; having said that, knowing both of them as I do, I'm sure that they will patch things up”.
Xavi admitted that he has spoken to Iker during the past few hours but hasn't yet had a chance to have a word with Del Bosque. “Lots of things happen in football and these kinds of things only need time for both to speak to each other and put their differences to one side”.
As for Spain's fortunes at Euro 2016, Xavi feels that: “The key was the goal we conceded against Croatia - that condemned us to the tough side of the draw. It was a tough blow and extreme punishment for the merits which the team showed in that game, which I felt Spain should have won. The first few minutes were spectacular”.
And looking back over the Last 16 meeting with Italy, Spain's final outing at the tournament, Xavi reflected: “Deploying three centre-backs did us a lot of damage, that way of playing really chokes our style. The same thing happened to us against Holland at the last World Cup and we just couldn't find a way of countering it until it was too late. Italy are well armed and could be the surprise package at these Euros.
“In a tournament like the Euros, apart from playing well, you also need luck and there are teams like Wales who seem to be blessed. To win in the way we did is very difficult and only now can it really be valued for what it was”.
On a final note, Xavi says he is thrilled that Neymar has renewed with Barcelona: “It's magnificent news for barcelonismo", he said. As for Messi, he advised: “Let's give him time and respect what he decides. He's the best player in the world and he has every right to state what he wants to do; that will never alter my perception of him, he'll always be the No.1”.